How Other Conditions are Connected to Back Pain

In the medical community, comorbidity refers to how certain conditions can connect. When someone has a cold, they do not just have a headache. Rather, they most likely have a mixture of conditions associated with that cold like a sore throat, congested nose, and a high fever. Naturally, back pain often connects to many other conditions. The ones listed below are those that are most commonly comorbid with back pain.


Obesity is a condition in which a person accumulates an excessive amount of fat in their body. The public perception of obesity may be unfairly skewed, but the medical community offers an objective method of determining whether one is obese or not. An obesity diagnosis depends on body mass index (BMI). BMI is a formula that divides a person’s weight in kilograms by his height in meters squared.

Each height has an ideal BMI, and those who have a higher BMI than expected classify as obese. Obesity is often connected to back pain due to how excess weight can put added pressure on the spinal cord. Small spinal structures like the disc and vertebrae often wear out faster due to the increased tension.

Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive order – frequently referred to as just depression – is a mental disorder characterized by symptoms of low energy, irritable mood, and an overall feeling of sadness or melancholy. While most people experience depressive “episodes” that come and go within two weeks, a select few people may feel persisting symptoms that interfere with their daily life.

The symptoms of depression can lead to prolonged periods of inactivity, poor eating habits, and bad posture. Such patterns create ripe conditions for back pain as the spine becomes inflexible and weaker due to lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet.

Acute Stress Disorder

A stress disorder is a broad term and can include conditions like agoraphobia, social phobia, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and more. Acute stress disorder is identified as a higher level of anxiety than normal and brings levels of dissociation (in other words, feeling like one is in a dream) that often occur a month after a traumatic event. Acute stress disorders symptoms can include physical symptoms like hypertension, which often puts one in a position that is uncomfortable for the spine or puts more pressure on the spine. Like other comorbid conditions, back pain often occurs because the spine is not able to relax as much as it should, or operate as efficiently as it could.

Back pain can come from many symptoms. The best method of treating your discomfort is finding out the source of the pain and knowing the best way to approach that source. The Spine Institute has years of experience in treating lower back pain symptoms, contact us today to find out how we can assist you.